Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

What you are waking up to in the Tyne Tees region

It has been a dramatic night in British politics - and the North East as been at the heart of it.

Our region, which was once a solid part of Labour's so-called red wall, now has a number of blue bricks.

The Conservatives have taken seven seats from Labour in the North East.

The party has lost some of its high-profile seats including Sedgefield, once the seat of Tony Blair, and North West Durham.

Even where the party has held onto seats, its vote has been dramatically reduced.

The Conservatives also retained all the seats it previously held in the region, including Hexham, Berwick and Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland.

In North Yorkshire, no seats changed hands.

Our Political Correspondent Martin Stew said:

Martin Stew, Political Correspondent. Credit: ITV

We’re waking up this morning to a historic shift in the political landscape of the North East. Tony Blair’s former seat Sedgefield has turned blue as have a whole raft of once rock solid Labour seats.

Take for example Bishop Auckland. Filming there a few weeks ago a man in his 70s said to me his whole life he’d been told that a dog with a red rosette would win there. Not anymore. For the first time since 1935 the seat has turned blue and delivered a conservative majority of nearly eight thousand.

Other seats to go include Redcar, Stockton South, Darlington and (perhaps most surprisingly) Ronnie Campbell’s former seat Blyth Valley and Laura Pidcock's former seat of North West Durham.

Even where Labour did hold on majorities have been slashed. Stockton North is now officially a marginal seat. In Wansbeck the Chair of the Labour Party Ian Lavery had a nervous time as there were rumours of a recount. He held on by just 814 votes.

This has been dubbed the Brexit election but it appears the appeal of the Brexit Party itself faded. Initial impressions suggest they took more votes from Labour than the Conservatives which could have played a part in why it was such a good result for the Tories. The closest they came was in Hartlepool where Richard Tice won 25.8% of the vote but still finished third. Labour held onto that seat despite seeing their vote share fall by 14.8% largely thanks to the split in the leave vote.

This is a monumental moment in North East politics. The Labour leadership have blamed Brexit and the media but several of the ousted Labour MPs in our region have pointed to Jeremy Corbyn’s unpopularity. The question is has North Eastern politics changed permanently or is this just a Brexit blip?

– Martin Stew, ITV Tyne Tees' Political Correspondent
  • Tyne Wear Derby To Declare First

After the Exit Poll revealed a large majority for the Conservatives, the night began with the regular race between Newcastle and Sunderland to be the first to declare a result.

This time around it was Newcastle, where Chi Onwurah was declared the winner of the Newcastle Central seat after at around 11.30pm.

Sunderland though was not far behind, when Bridget Phillipson was declared the winner of the Houghton and Sunderland South seat.

While both of them held their seats, they saw big swings to the Conservatives.

Ms Phillipson said in her acceptance speech that the Labour party needed to recognise where it had gone wrong.

  • Blyth Turns Blue

The first big shock of the night was in Blyth Valley, which had been Labour since its creation in 1950, was won by Conservative Ian Levy by more than 700 votes.

Conservatives celebrate winning Blyth Valley. Credit: North News
  • Tories Gain Darlington

The next big story of the night was the Conservatives win in Darlington, where Peter Gibson triumphed over Jenny Chapman and pledged to restore trust in politics.

Jonny Blair, of ITV Tyne Tees, was there.

He said:

After the gasps when the exit poll was announced, there was a feeling that Labour was always going to struggle here.

And that proved true.

For the first time in nearly 30 years this constituency has a Conservative MP, Peter Gibson. It was close between the two candidates, but Darlington fits into a wider picture of voters abandoning Labour in the North East. The new MP says work starts tomorrow.

– Jonny Blair, ITV Tyne Tees
  • Hill Holds Hartlepool For Labour

Many eyes both nationally and locally were on Hartlepool, where the Brexit Party were hoping to make a breakthrough.

The party's chairman, Richard Tice, was a candidate there.

ITV Tyne Tees' Gregg Easteal was at the count and described the scene before the declaration:

Hartlepool.

A little place by the sea that's not afraid to make a splash. Not least back in 2002 when football mascot H'Angus the Monkey won the race to be the town's first elected mayor with a promise of free daily bananas for school children.

The man in the monkey suit, Stuart Drummond, won two more terms positioning himself later as a sensible man of the people. And tonight the Brexit Party is hoping Hartlepool will do something different again.But taking the seat from Labour won't be easy.

That party's held the seat since the constituency was formed in 1974 and in 2017 Mike Hill had a comfortable majority of more than 7,000. The Brexit party though clearly sees the hefty seventy per cent Leave vote in the town during the referendum as a sign this place might like what it has to say. And it's gone big on trying to win over the electorate here. Nigel Farage has made repeated visits in recent weeks and its candidate is none other than charismatic party chairman Richard Tice - a millionaire property developer from London.

But the last few days of the campaign saw the Brexit Party hit by trouble, when Channel Four exposed a Brexit Party councillor in the town boasting he'd tried to bury a pig's head under the town's mosque. He's since quit the council and been kicked out of the Party.

In 2001 some supposedly "smart money" thought Peter Mandelson would lose his seat in the town after a bumpy time in and out of the Cabinet, But he was re-elected, prompting his famous "I'm a fighter not a quitter" speech on election night. In other words, whatever you're expecting here, don't be so sure.......

– Greg Easteal, ITV Tyne Tees

In the end, despite a strong Brexit Party vote, Labour's Mike Hill held on to his seat.

  • Red Wall Continued To Fall

The shocks kept coming though the night.

Bishop Auckland, Redcar and Stockton South were taken by the Tories, all with huge swings against Labour.

ITV Tyne Tees' reporters were at the counts.

  • Mixed bag for Stockton Constituencies

Very early on in the night at the Stockton North and South counts at the Thornaby Pavilion it became clear this was a bad night for Labour.

The Exit Poll suggested Labour would lose the marginal seat of Stockton South, which was won only in 2017 by Dr Paul Williams with a slender 888 majority. It also suggested that Labour’s Alex Cunningham would retain his Stockton North seat, but his 8,715 majority would be slashed significantly.

For the two Stockton counts the Exit Poll did not lie.

As supporters and candidates viewed the live feeds on the screens overlooking the sports hall where the count was taking place, it became apparent this was not a good night for Labour in the Teesside town.

Alex Cunningham told ITV News he was "confident" of a victory, but said the predicted Conservative victory nationally was “very bad news for the people of the North East”.

After retaining his seat with 17,728 votes, his majority was slashed to just 1,027. Following the declaration he told ITV News “I’m really worried for our people, I’m really worried for the poor, I’m worried about our National Health Service. We’re now going to have one of the worst right wing governments we’ve had for some considerable time in this country and I really worry about what their real agenda is, what’s going to happen with the health service, what’s going to happen with infrastructure, what’s going to happen with the North East of England. They’ve neglected us in the past. Why should we expect them to be any better now?”

Asked whether Jeremy Corbyn should step down he replied “I think he’s lost two elections now and I think it would be the right thing to do, but I think he’s got to give us a little bit of space in order to ensure that we can elect a new leader to succeed him”.

Moments later, new Conservative MP Matt Vickers won the marginal Stockton South seat, beating Labour’s Dr Paul Williams with a 5,260 majority, taking 27,764 votes.

He told ITV News that “people want it (Brexit) done. I’ve knocked on the doors of people who voted to remain. I’ve knocked on the doors of people who’ve wanted to leave. They want this thing done. They want this country to move forwards. If the results are what they look like they are, that will be happening very soon.

“I think people have got a taste for the Conservative Party in the North East. They elected a Tees Valley mayor who has delivered exactly what he said he would do. We’ve saved an airport, we’ve got investment in our local economy, we’ve banged a drum, we’ve got investment in infrastructure. People want a bit more of it. They feel let down by Labour. Time for a change. We’re changing.”

– Kris Jepson, ITV News
  • Blair's Former Constituency Sedgefield Turns Blue

One of the most symbolic defeats of the night was when Sedgefield was won by Conservative Paul Howell, with a majority of more than 4,000.

It was once the constituency of Tony Blair, the last Labour leader to take the party to election victory in 2005.

  • Shock Result In North West Durham For Labour's Laura Pidcock

The final shock in our region came in the North West Durham seat.

Incumbent Laura Pidcock had been tipped as a successor to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Instead, the seat as taken by Conservative Richard Holden who stated in his acceptance speech:

It marks a real change in British politics that the North East is backing the Conservative Party.

– Richard Holden MP, North West Durham, Conservative
  • No Change In North Yorkshire

In North Yorkshire things have been much less dramatic.

No seats have changed hands.

One man tipped to play a big role in the new Conservative government is Rishi Sunak, who was Chief Secretary to the Treasury in the last Cabinet and played a high profile role in the party's election campaign.

He held his Richmond seat with a majority of more than 23,000.